Thirty years ago this album was released. Obviously I had it in vinyl. I still can't listen to You Can't Hurry Love without expecting Duran Duran's Is There Something I Should Know immediately after it. I was reminded of this album because I heard The Safety Dance on an episode of The Carrie Diaries. The track listing for the original Now album makes my heart sing. It's like a history lesson in 80s pop. Let's explore.
It opens with Phil Collins. I mean, why? And he is covering a Supremes song. It's like the worst of the 80s right off the bat. Then we move to one of the worst Duran Duran songs. Then another cover with UB40's Red Red Wine which I can't even discuss I hate it so much. Then, wait for it, Limahl. Anyone sane would give up but no, what's this? Heaven 17's Temptation. A classic of our time indeed. Things are looking up.
KC and the Sunshine Band with Give It Up follows which I love. I had forgotten how much I loved this and I am just listening to it now. It's going on my workout playlist. Double Dutch by Malcolm McClaren and the mighty Bonnie closes side one.
Side two and we have Karma Chameleon. I bloody hate this song. I feel I should like it being an 80s kid but god it's awful isn't it? The only people who like this are those who are too young to remember it the first time round. Culture Club did some good songs but this wasn't one of them. The magnificent Safety Dance follows and what is this video about? Bonkers.
Mike Oldfield bores us and then we come to Down Under. Possibly one of the greatest songs ever recorded. Not much else to say about side two except to ponder how Paul Young was ever successful.
Side three and New Edition hit us up with Candy Girl. Bobby Brown!
Limahl left Kajagoogoo and they decided to press on without him. To the regret of all of us. This is the worst of the 80s. Another cover with Tina Turner's Let's Stay Together. Al Green did it better. But we have Human League to save us. (Keep Feeling) Fascination with a great use of 80s brackets there. And Howard Jones with New Song - love, love, love it. More UB40, there is no explanation. Peabo and Roberta close side three with Tonight I Sellotape My Glove To You as my sister likes to call it.
Side four and Tracey Ullman with They Don't Know. A contender for one of my favourite 80s songs this, I adore it. The bells! Then Will Powers Kissing with Confidence, another fave. Skipping over Genesis to The Love Cats. This is totally perfect pop from a band that didn't really do pop. Then we have Simple Minds with a song nobody remembers, Waterfront? Anyone? The tedious Madness follow and we close with yes, just what we all wanted, another Culture Club song, Victims.
I am puzzled. I loved this album, I listened to it a great deal because I was 12 and hadn't built up a large collection of music and had not discovered my parents Beatles albums yet. I had remembered it being brilliant. It's clearly not. It has about 8 good songs on it and then bad songs by bands that weren't even that good to start with. I mean, Kajagoogoo? But the good songs really are properly good, we have Bonnie, The Cure, Tracey (although I admit it might just be me that loves this), Men at Work and the mighty Men Without Hats. Men did us proud in 1983.
I wish I'd kept my original vinyls but alas, they have long gone. Looking at the cover takes me back to fluro socks, Frinton-on-sea and poring over Smash Hits. Bliss.